Daniel Gingerich Surrenders Over 500 Dogs, Banned From Breeding Business

This story happened several weeks ago, but is a follow up on the puppy mill case in Iowa covered here back in October. Breeder Daniel Gingerich of the Seymour, Iowa Amish community surrendered over 500 dogs in early November, and has been banned from breeding and selling dogs:

Daniel Gingerich hoarded more than 500 dogs throughout his multiple properties in Seymour, Iowa, which were all in equally poor condition, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced on Tuesday. In a federal indictment filed in late September accusing Gingerich of violating the Animal Welfare Act, or the AWA, prosecutors described in graphic detail the dead, malnourished and injured dogs found on his properties.

The puppy mill operator agreed Tuesday to surrender all his animals. He is permanently banned from breeding and selling dogs, according to court documents. It is unclear if or when he is due back in court.

Gingerich, whose lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment, received a breeding license in October 2019 from the Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for monitoring and inspecting breeder and broker facilities. According to the ASPCA, Gingerich’s indictment is the latest example of the USDA’s failed oversight of breeders. The nonprofit sued the department in June for failing to enforce the AWA, a 1966 law meant to ensure animals’ safety.

It sounds like he was an especially negligent breeder:

In the two years after Gingerich received his permit, he was slapped with at least 100 citations for not following the AWA. The majority of write-ups were issued after March, according to the indictment. The USDA then suspended his license for 21 days in September. That same month, the department moved to permanently revoke Gingerich’s license.

Federal prosecutors said inspectors with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services were repeatedly denied access to Gingerich’s facilities between the winter and spring of 2020. It wasn’t until this past March that they gained access, according to the indictment. They returned in April, May, July and September.

But Gingerich, investigators say, was repeatedly noncompliant when inspectors requested information about where the dogs were being held and for access to the facilities to confirm their welfare. He also failed to “provide adequate veterinary care, nutrition, and a safe environment to those dogs,” court documents said.

Gingerich hid sickly dogs in a horse stall contaminated with layers of dirt, horse manure and dog feces, federal investigators allege. But inspectors noticed a golden retriever in the stable was one they previously instructed Gingerich to take to a veterinarian. When they returned, the dog was in an “emaciated state,” according to the indictment.

Inspectors also found dead dogs on the property near the horse stalls that once hid them.

“Gingerich’s indifference to the well-being of the dogs is apparent in his failure to remove even dead dogs from his facility,” prosecutors said.

When we see a case as bad as this one making national news, I’m not surprised that the Amish as a whole get pinned with blame. There have been other egregious examples of bad breeders in the Plain community in the past, though to be honest I haven’t seen a lot of cases like this making news in recent years.

Dog breeding remains popular in some Amish communities, though “Amish breeder” certainly does not automatically equate to what Gingerich was doing here. Some are doing it on a much smaller scale, which seems to be a necessity to provide dogs adequate care, not least of which is proper socialization. What else can be said but good for these dogs, and hopefully this case at the least provides a message that breeding operations like this are not acceptable.

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    1. Rebecca

      Regarding Daniel Gingerich

      I find this a very sad story but I am also angry to read of such abuse. Dogs and cats are not livestock. They should be treated with respect and kindness and care. I can’t think of any other animal that has developed itself to accompany mankind and work so hard to please its owners. Dogs do everything for people: guard our homes and livestock, guide the blind, help recover lost people, serve in the military and police forces, aid those with PTSD, provide companionship to the sick and aged, work with fire-fighters, smell cancer, entertain and work as show dogs. Other than the horse, no other animal has so aligned itself to mankind, yet even the horse does not live inside our homes with us. This man should never have been allowed to be a licensed breeder, and, quite frankly, I think he should have served some time in jail as an example of punishment for his truculent behavior toward the authorities and refusal to care for the animals. God have mercy on his soul!

      1. Amish dog breeder

        I couldn’t agree with you more! What’s also sad is that you and I are the only ones to comment on this article. I live in Amish country and have seen a lot of animal cruelty. It’s reported it but nothing is done because animal control in the area doesn’t care. The USDA is very slow to respond. I don’t see how anyone can call themselves Christians and still treat animals this way.

        1. Wenddie Mikulcik

          Are Amish Christians?

          My ex Amish friend says Amish is a cult. Christ wouldn’t treat people like they do let alone treat animals this way. Very sad. Many are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Just because they are Amish doesn’t mean all are good.

          1. Pat Monti

            Are Amish Christians?

            Wenddie, there most definitely are good and bad Amish as there are good and bad English. Thankfully not all Amish or English are abusive to animals. Personally I can not at all understand those that are and have absolutely no tolerance whatsoever for it.

    2. Jason mayfield

      Couldn’t agree more

      Believe it or not, majority of the Amish partake in dog breeding. Ohio is the worst of the worst. There’s gotta be something that authorities can do to these deranged individuals. If regular Americans treated their animals this way, they’re punished. It’s time the Amish “above the law” status ends. Many more Amish folks breed dogs and cats than regular Americans do. Just look at Lancaster puppies website. Thousands and thousands of dogs and they’re all Amish breeders. The price of puppies starts out in the thousands and than when they reach 16 weeks of age, they cut the price to 50 dollars so they don’t have to pay to care for the animal. Mother dogs are bred twice a year , until they reach 3 or 4 years of age, than put on Lancaster puppies site and listed as dogs under $100.00. Sadly, it’s their last hope. If they are not sold, they’re usually put down inhumanly. It’s not only Ohio. Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky are pretty bad also. I hope and pray one day this ends. A FEW NAMES TO AVOID-